MANILA, Philippines—It wasn’t too long ago when making the Final Four was Perpetual Help was a long shot to make the NCAA Season 99 men’s basketball Final Four.
But after a dramatic win over Lyceum on Sunday, the Altas have now found themselves just a game behind Jose Rizal University (9-6) for the fourth seed at 8-7.
Perpetual Help is peaking at the right time riding a four-game winning streak but rather than be worried about the standings, coach Myk Saguiguit would want to focus more on the results.
“Actually, the standings of Season 99 are not in our minds. Whoever we’ll face next, we just focus on them. We never even check social media for the rankings and we’re happy with the results of this game,” said Saguiguit.
“We’re just happy with what we’ve been doing here in 99… It feels good to also end a streak so it’s very rewarding. I told them in the locker room, this game is our reward so when we get out of the dugout, let’s take the bonus,” he added, pertaining to the Pirates’ five-game run.
The Altas’ recent success, however, won’t be possible without making major adjustments–one of which was making Jielo Razon play a different role.
Deemed as the main man of Perpetual Help in the preseason, Razon has been helping the team off the bench.
“Sometimes, he’s (Razon) even the one to propose that he’ll be on the bench. That’s how I am with my seniors. They’re like my assistants inside the floor,” said Saguiguit.
“In the endgame, he’s always there. His first, second or third quarters may be bad but in the end, he’s always getting good stops.”
Razon finished with nine points, two rebounds and three assists, including the pass that led to Mark Omega’s game-winning triple.
The Altas face another big test next against Mapua, which just overtook Lyceum for the top spot.
Saguiguit and the Pirates aren’t backing down from any challenge.
“Next is Mapua? Then after that, Ginebra? Then after that, the Lakers? We’ll take it.”